Cycling Cycling

High hopes

Vinokourov still dreaming of Tour victory

Posted: Sunday July 20, 2003 3:20 PM

LOUDENVIELLE, France (Reuters) -- Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan is still dreaming of victory in the Tour de France after once again taking the race to Lance Armstrong during Sunday's 14th stage in the Pyrenees.

"I'm very satisfied with today but tomorrow we'll try to do something else. The dream of wearing the yellow jersey is still alive. I know I'm riding well and can do even better," he said.

The stage was won by Italian Gilberto Simoni, who was part of a stage-long break, but Vinokourov attacked Armstrong on the last climb of the 191.5 km (about 120 miles) and pulled back another 43 seconds.

Vinokourov lost 1-1/2 minutes to Armstrong in the team time trial and another 30 seconds in Friday's individual time trial, but has made up most of that time with attacks on the stage to L'Alpe d'Huez, Gap and now to Loudenvielle.

He is third in the overall standings, 18 seconds behind Armstrong and three seconds behind Jan Ullrich of Germany.

The American has said he does not consider Vinokourov a threat and will be concentrating on marking Ullrich, but Vinokourov has promised to attack Armstrong again.

"The Tour isn't over yet," Vinokourov said after Sunday's stage. "I'm very happy because I gave it my all when I attacked and it paid off. I decided to go for it because I had good legs.

I said this morning that I'd try to gain some time and I did."

Vinokourov said he would continue to attack as he chased his dream of taking the race leader's yellow jersey.

"I'm very happy to be so close to Lance. We've still got two more days in the high mountains so anything can happen."

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